Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav on Monday, 4 January, expressed that he “never questioned experts, researchers or scientists” after Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan accused the Opposition, including Yadav, of ‘politicising’ the process of approving the coronavirus vaccine.
“I or the Samajwadi Party never questioned the experts, researchers or scientists. If there are suspicion or some doubts, it is government’s responsibility to clarify,” Yadav said, as quoted by ANI.
He went on to question the central government, “We want to know when the poor will get the vaccine? I would like to ask BJP that how long will it take them to give vaccine to the poor and whether it will be free or not?” ANI reported.
‘How Can I Trust BJP’S Vaccine?’
On Sunday, Dr Harsh Vardhan had taken to Twitter to urge Yadav, Shashi Tharoor and Jairam Ramesh to “not discredit well laid out science-backed protocols followed for approving the COVID-19 vaccines.”
His tweet had come after the Samajwadi party chief claimed that he would not get vaccinated for COVID-19 now as the "BJP's vaccine" could not be trusted.
"I will not take the COVID-19 vaccine at this moment. That too given by Bharatiya Janata Party. How can I trust BJP's vaccine, not a chance. When our government will be formed, everyone will get a free vaccine. We cannot take the BJP vaccine", the former Chief Minister of UP had said at a press conference.
Akhilesh's statement drew sharp reactions from the ruling party, even as BJP leader and Union Minister Anurag Thakur rebuked, calling his statement ‘very unfortunate’.
“What can be more unfortunate than a young leader linking COVID vaccine to a political party. It shows he can’t think above politics,” he added.
Uttar Pradesh has nearly 14,000 active cases and has recorded over 8,000 deaths linked to the virus.
(With inputs from ANI)